Wednesday, January 27, 2010

iPad is another Apple Evolutionary jump forward

I don't care if you hate Apple or not.  They seem to have the innovative MOJO that everyone is attempting to capture.  In most cases, that MOJO is monopolized by a company that is used to setting the bar in terms of technological and sociological advances. 

In my 37 years, I have yet to see any single company that innovates like Apple does.  We had the Apple I and Apple II years ago (my first touch of a computer system), followed by the development of the Macintosh Computer system in 1984.  A flurry of advancements in processing power, capability and functionality spurred Apple forward through the 80's and early 90's.  During the Early 90's it really seemed like Apple was losing it - bad marketing, execution, development almost laid waste to what was an awesome company...  Only with the return of Steve Jobs and his electrifying personality, did Apple find new life and a new found resurgence. 

With the advent of Mac OS X, new Apple computer designs and increased stability (thank you NeXTStep), Apple was starting to grow again and reach new persons.  The iPod was a phenomenal success and what a revolutionary device (except for the DRM stuff, which proved to just be more problematic than anything).  The iPod helped spur better design and innovation and led ultimately to the iPhone - and for the first time, we had a device that was as close to converging computer and phone and multimedia player than anything had done before.

For the Record, I was an early adopter for the iPhone - best purchase I ever made.

Now we come to the Evolutionary change announced today and it is truly a jump forward.  Companies have been pushing and touting their tablet based PC's with Windows OS, but have been hampered by mediocre performance or kludged operating system implementations.  I also admit that the NetBook craze of the past several years has really driven the market forward, but that craze did not seem to last very long.

The advent of, what I can only characterize as an iTouch on Steroids, the iPad will bridge the gap between my iPhone and my MacBook Pro 13".

Let's look at some of the key points of the device:
  • Runs Safari, E-Mail, Photos, Video, YouTube, iPod, iTunes Store
  • Enhanced Maps
  • New Notes application
  • New Calendar application
  • New Contacts application
  • LED IPS display (9.7"), 1024x768 display
  • Multi-Touch capable
  • Thin and Light (1.5 lbs and .5 inches thick/thin)
  • 10 hours of battery life (probably will be more like 6-8)
  • Wireless (WiFI)
  • 3G capable (separate unit due out in April) (called WiFI + 3G Model)
  • New 1 GHz A4 (Apple Developed) CPU
  • 30 pin dock connector (like iPod/iTouch/iPhone)
  • Audio - speaker and microphone built in - and headphone jack for privacy

Well - there are a lot of criticisms on the Internet (especially from Gizmodo site) about the device and I have to say that this is an impressive piece of technology and artwork and it will enhance my life and my technological arsenal.  This device will not be for everyone, but it is helping setting the stage for other hardware manufactures to step up their game, once again, to meet Apple and try to beat them - without the iPhone, the HTC based phones would look like crap and don't get me started on Android.

Thank you Apple for once again setting the bar.  Let's see if Microsoft and the PC hardware developers can follow suit - I hear Dell has some cool things on the way.

B

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mac Tablet Predictions

Have you heard the latest about the Apple Macintosh tablet project to be (hopefully) announced on the 26th of January?

There is a lot of speculation around the Internet concerning the project and I have to tell you that with each and every new posting, the fervor is rising and I am getting my credit card ready... erh... I mean... excited about the possibilities.

But... I think some people might be giving Apple a lot more credit than they are due and I am concerned by some of the conceptual drawings and hopeful inclusions.

I think it will be a slim device, much like an iPhone/iTouch device - a skoshe bit larger (depth) and probably about 8-9 inches.  It will be a full touch screen - no doubt.  Would be cool if they have a stylus, but Apple has never released a stylus before (except with the Newton).  I also think that the OS, based on Mac OS X, will not be a full blown Mac OS X implementation.  It will be more like the iTouch/iPhone OS - but multi-tasking.  I would be surprised if you could actually 'install' things on it that were not sanctioned and acceptable like the iTunes App store. 

I cannot imagine, say, PhotoShop CS4 being installed on the device - but that would be pretty cool.

I am sure it will have all the amenities needed to be productive just as the iPhone/iTouch already have. 

Without a doubt, next week looks to be a great week for Apple Fanatics as there is expected to be rumored upgrades to the MacBook Pro line, announcement of iPhone OS 4.0 (with multi-tasking, thank God) and of course the TABLET!

Hoping for the best,
Bill

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

iPod 5G Nano - Great... but that built-in speaker...!

So, I am walking through my local Albertson/Lucky's Supermarket, shopping down my favorite aisle (the cookie aisle, for the uninitiated) and all I hear is Christmas Music.  To be precise, it was "Do They Know It's Christmas?".  I am thinking to myself...  It is January 6, 2010, a full 2 weeks past Christmas... What the hell is Lucky trying to do - keep the Christmas spirit running into January?

And I thought... why not... Most commercial organizations start their Christmas music around early November, well before the Christmas season.

As I am moving down the aisle, I find myself singing to the music and eerily the music system in the grocery market sounded very close and it was moving with me... WTF?

Turns out that the music was emanating from my 5G iPod Nano.  The 5G iPod Nano not only comes with a video camera - that takes so, so videos, but it also has a built in microphone and speaker.

So if the iPod is in my pocket and I accidentally hit the PLAY button - my nether regions transform into a literal dance/disco club.  Never before has my groin sounded so good.

Anyway - thought you would find that little tidbit humorous - Thankfully, there was no one in the aisle with me while the sounds of Christmas Past emerged from my Dockers.

Bill